HAIL SPIRIT NOIR (Greece)
The First Ape on New Earth
— In my Best of 2016 list, what a wonderful second album of carnival psychedelic black metal and prog. Bubbling in my heart and turning it black from the inside. Sweet and wicked.
The Breaking Point
— In my Best of 2018, this black metal musician is inspired by his wild Minnesota surroundings. His muscular death vocals are a great juxtaposition for the chilling desperate emotional romantic black metal. Let me bathe in the moonlit lake he is crooning to. So hot.
— This 3rd album is jammed with a blast of a range, from death to haunting doom to prog and various instrumentation. Oh you Swedish devils with the juicy riffs, it is in their blood. This is a joy from beginning to end.
CANIS DIRUS (MN)
We Are The Ancient Ones
— Another Minnesota gem where the men wear beards and howl at the moon. The sound is scattered debris of forlorn with the stark brutality of the vocalist, a surprising gentle acoustic and heavy metal solos that remind us of what we love. METAL.
Shrine of Revelation
— Finnish and their amazingly guttural vocals that automatically launch their sound to malevolence naturally. You think it is this mean death, but these bands are really pummeling us with surprises, packages to unfold and delight.
Lonesome Boredom Overdrive
— Their 2019 album was playing in my house last week and I randomly checked on their bandcamp, and they had a newly released single. It didn’t fit in their 2019 album, and they wanted to release it finally – the song title fitting to our times. They have the best warm retro vocalist.
Idzi I Hliadzi
— These little parts of the world where influence is from afar. The Finnish, the Estonians, and now Belarusians. It just thrashes in all directions, heavy metal and doom and riffs and punk pace. And then they throw in the neck churning riffs to make you clap. Thank you sirs.
BLOOD STRONGHOLD (AU/Poland)
— Maybe you don’t have the stomach for a 2-piece raw black metal that spins out to minimal after dabbling in the massive storms of layered ethereal melodies.
LIVING GATE (Belgium)
— You’ve got to expect big things from members of Oathbreaker, Amenra, Wiegedood and YOB. Bright, brutal, ferocious death metal. Simple.